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Oct 22, 2009

Sam’s Club focusing on remodels in a bid to increase sales

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s <WMT.N> Sam’s Club division is shifting its focus from opening new clubs to remodeling existing ones as it strives to increase sales, the company said on Thursday.

The No. 2 U.S. warehouse club operator also said it is testing a new store layout, revamping merchandise to add more food and drugs, and streamlining operations so it can reduce labor hours in its clubs 6 percent to 8 percent over the next five years.

Oct 22, 2009

Sam’s Club focusing on remodels, new layout

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s
<WMT.N> Sam’s Club division is shifting its focus from opening
new clubs to remodeling existing ones as it strives to increase
sales, the company said on Thursday.

The No. 2 U.S. warehouse club operator also said it is
testing a new store layout, revamping merchandise to add more
food and drugs, and streamlining operations so it can reduce
labor hours in its clubs 6 percent to 8 percent over the next
five years.

Oct 21, 2009

Wal-Mart takes gloves off, sounds holiday price war

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc
<WMT.N> will slash prices each week this holiday season as the
discount retailer fights off rivals and strives to keep its
newly won market share this holiday shopping season.

Shares in the world’s largest retailer fell more than 2
percent after it pledged “hundreds of millions of dollars in
price reductions” and raised investor concerns over its ability
to protect margins.

Oct 20, 2009

U.S. consumers plan to spend less this holiday-NRF

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 20 (Reuters) – U.S. consumers plan to
spend 3.2 percent less on holiday shopping this year than a
year ago due to worries over the economy and unemployment,
according to a survey released on Tuesday by the National
Retail Federation.

It marks the first time consumers have said they intend to
spend less for the holidays since 2002, when the trade group
began tracking such figures.

Oct 20, 2009
via Shop Talk

Check Out Line: Coach profits from Poppy

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Check out the boost Coach is getting from its new Poppy line.The leather goods retailer reported higher than expected quarterly profit and sales on Tuesday.Coach said its new Poppy line, which is aimed at younger women with its bright colors and lower prices, helped increase store traffic from the previous quarter.The average price of a Poppy bag is $260, about 20 percent less than the usual Coach purse. The line’s introduction is part of a plan by Coach to reduce overall prices by 10 to 15 percent and appeal to more cost-conscious shoppers.Coach Chief Executive Lew Frankfort told Reuters in an interview that he expects earnings per share to show gradual improvement for the balance of the fiscal year when compared with the prior year.”Consumers are starting to feel a bit more confident that the economy is stabilizing, that the outlook is no longer dire,” he said, adding that he expected a stronger holiday shopping season for the overall industry.Also in the basket:Coca-Cola third quarter sales miss, shares slipSupervalu trims outlook, dividend; shares fallUS retail holiday sales seen up 1.6 pct – ShopperTrakFEATURE: Holiday miracle needed for turnaround at US portsFEATURE: Fewer holiday goods spurs US retail scramble(Photo: Reuters)

Oct 19, 2009

Target jumps into book price-cutting fray

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Target Corp’s <TGT.N>
online division said on Monday it cut the price of highly
anticipated hardcover books to $8.99, responding to steep price
cuts implemented last week by Amazon.com <AMZN.O> and
Walmart.com.

Target.com said it is offering the books, including
“Breathless” by Dean Koontz and “Ford County” by John Grisham,
for $8.99, including free shipping.

Oct 19, 2009

Wal-Mart attacks new markets with big price cuts

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc is taking its ferocious price cutting into new markets as the economy shows hints of recovery.

In the past year, the discount behemoth has been more focused on markdowns for necessities such as food that drove sales in the downturn. But now its aggressive strategy is spreading rapidly to other goods being sold online as well as in the company’s stores.

Oct 16, 2009
via Shop Talk

Check Out Line: A quarterly update from toyland

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Check out Mattel reporting a smaller-than-expected decline in third-quarter revenue as the toymaker sees gains in its Hot Wheels and American Girl brands.Profit fell to $229.8 million, or 63 cents a share, from $238.1 million, or 65 cents a share, a year earlier.  Net sales fell 8 percent to $1.79 billion.  Analysts expected revenue of $1.78 billion.Chief Executive Robert Eckert said Mattel’s revenue was still under pressure due to the weak economy, a move by retailers to tightly manage inventory and a dearth of toy lines tied to movies and other entertainment.”That said, we are continuing to make strong progress on reducing costs, rebuilding margins and generating strong cash flow,” he said in a statement.Mattel and rival Hasbro are facing another tough holiday as key retailers Wal-Mart and Target have already begun offering steep discounts on their products to woo shoppers.After a bruising holiday season in 2008, toy companies are making fewer and more affordable products, such as those that cost less than $30. Mattel’s Barbie “Fashionista” doll is expected to be a hot seller this holiday.  It sells for $11.99 at Toys R Us.Hasbro will report earnings on Monday morning.Also in the basket:Cadbury looks for sweet Q3 to deter KraftOffice Depot CEO worried about small U.S. businessesTesco sets goal to be zero-carbon business by 2050Louboutin Fetes Barbie at 50 (WWD, subscription required)(Photo: Reuters)

    • About Nicole

      "Nicole Maestri is a retail correspondent for Reuters and covers some of the world's biggest retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Costco."
      Joined Reuters:
      2002
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